BHU & SVPAU&T Faculty Visit TNAU to Study E-learning Platforms

May 17–18, 2012 | Coimbatore, India

As part of content and infrastructure exploration activity for building e-learning platforms at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology (SVPUA&T), representatives from BHU, SVPUA&T and Sathguru Management Consultants visited Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore. The team, comprising Dr. Deepak Sisodia, Asst. Prof., Computer Science, SVPUA&T; Dr. U. P. Shahi, Asst. Prof., Soil Science, SVPUA&T; Dr. Ramesh Kumar Singh, Professor of Agronomy, BHU; Dr. (Ms.) Vijai P., Lecturer, Dept. of Plant Physiology, BHU and Mr. Anantha Murthy, Information Specialist, Sathguru Management Consultants, Hyderabad had a face-to-face meeting with Mr. Venkatachalam, IT Coordinator at Agricultural College and Research Institute, TNAU and gained insights into the infrastructure required and processes followed in creating e-learning modules. They also looked at available content at TNAU for adaptation at their home universities.

At TNAU, the team visited the Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-enabled classrooms to get a better understanding of the technology tools employed viz. projectors, screens, a/v equipment and Wi-Fi. The team also explored the server rooms to comprehend the technology in terms of server capacity, networking and bandwidth. They also visited the e-learning studio at TNAU to get an understanding of the hardware used, the HD audio/video set-up engaged, other software packages used like Accordent PresenterPLUS and the e-library archives including video lectures. The Wi-Fi-enabled examination halls and the language communication hall fitted with 42 computers with AV facility and software for improving language gave the visiting faculty added insights into the holistic approach adopted by TNAU towards e-learning.

Taking several parameters into account, the team assessed the quality of the content used in the e-learning modules. These parameters included accuracy, scope and appropriacy of content, proper alignment of learning objectives and outcomes with content production and delivery, the level of motivation and interactivity adopted with respect to the learners, the level of user-friendliness of the designs and usability of the content, the level of the Instructional Designing courses, etc. After the assessment, the visiting team decided that the course content that met the curricular need of BHU first and second semester BSc Agriculture courses would be adapted for use at BHU & SVPAU&T. A list of such courses was prepared and a detailed list of equipment and set-up necessary to run such courses at BHU and SVPUA&T was made by the team. A road map, clearly establishing the responsibilities of each institution in setting up the e-learning platforms at BHU and SVPUA&T was also prepared for proper implementation.

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